HOW TO UNDECORATE AFTER CHRISTMAS
Yeah, I know -- sounds basic, right? Just stuff everything in a big garbage bag and toss it in the attic for another year. Better yet, let the decorations stay up for awhile. Actually, it's better to undecorate soon since many fires occur as trees begin to dry out and lights are left up longer than intended. Some things to remember when putting away decorations:
• To unplug electric decorations, use the gripping area provided on the plugs. Never pull the cord to unplug a device from electrical outlets. Doing so can damage the cord's wire and insulation and even lead to an electrical shock or fire.
• As you're putting away electrical light strings, take time to inspect each for flaws. Throw out light sets if they have loose connections, broken or cracked sockets or frayed or bare wires.
• Do not place a faulty set of lights back into the storage box for next year's use.
• Take the initiative now and throw out worn light strings. Shop for replacements during after-Christmas sales or add lights to your Christmas decoration list for next year.
• Be sure to pack lights appropriately. No one likes to untangle a web of lights. When preparing your holiday lights for storage, consider purchasing a holiday light storage reel, or create your own system.
• Store electrical decorations in a dry place, such as a suitcase, where they cannot be damaged by water or dampness. Also, keep them away from children and pets to ensure that cords and wires are not damaged in storage.
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